Victoria Anderson is a first year Public Health Administration and Policy MPH student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Victoria has worked in health care systems across the country from Michigan to Arizona, including Mayo Clinic. She’s currently a member of the SPH Student Senate and a volunteer at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic. Read her responses to the questions below to learn more about her background and aspirations.
What drew you to the field of public health?
[Victoria] I have always wanted to help people, and public health is an effective approach to positively impacting health and human wellness that aligns with my personal interests and mission. I have found through my professional experiences and undergraduate coursework, that public health is my calling for how I will contribute to helping others. My passion for public health began during my time as a certified nursing assistant. I learned how to provide a high quality of physical and emotional support for patients. This experience led to my interest in public health through the enrollment of my core classes in the honors college at Grand Canyon University, which covered many health care administration and public health topics.
What public health experience do you have?
[Victoria] My work experiences, professional affiliations, volunteering, and coursework have all guided me towards studying public health administration and policy. I have served as a certified nursing assistant at Mill Creek and Teal Lake Assisted Living, an administrative intern for Trillium Hospice House, a Behavioral Health Integration Intern for Evolved MD, a Care Delivery Operations Intern at Banner Health, an Operations Specialist at Mayo Clinic, and a Customer Success Manager at Clipboard Health. Additionally, I participated in the Future Healthcare Administrators club and the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) through the American College of Healthcare Executive (ACHE) events. Also, I volunteered at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marquette General Hospital, and Mayo Clinic Hospital.
How would you like to improve the field of public through your degree?
[Victoria] All of my public health experiences have taught me that we have to put our marginalized patients and population groups first. In the future, I’d like to work for Mayo Clinic or other health care systems where I can assist with improving the quality of care for patients. I believe that the patient is the main priority and there is always room for improvement within the health care experience.
How are you coping with COVID-19 as a public health student?
[Victoria] I was on the frontline care services team when I was working at Mayo Clinic. I saw what patients were going through firsthand and the impact it had on the staff and the hospital as a whole. Then, shortly after that I went back to my home state of Michigan to quarantine with my family. It’s been a bit of a change learning online since it is harder to connect with people. I am making the most of my graduate school experience at SPH during COVID-19. The faculty, student organizations, and second year students have been really helpful.
Why did you choose the UMN School of Public Health?
[Victoria] I actually visited a couple other schools and was accepted to them as well, but I felt most at home at UMN and knew this was the right place for me from the start. I love how UMN supports the local community, and I appreciate it being a top-ranked school of public health. I really like that the alumni are also really involved and supportive of SPH students.
In what ways has the school been a good fit for you?
[Victoria] There are a lot of reasons why SPH is a good fit for me. The program offers courses that focus on a smaller cohort size to allow students to work together and learn the complexity of the healthcare system, especially through the Minnesota Problem-Solving Method. Because of this structure, the program is nationally ranked among other programs and its reputation as an educational leader in public health and health care administration is outstanding.
I am really interested in quality improvement and operations within a healthcare system and I wanted to learn from experienced and dedicated professors about how I can make a difference. Also, this program offers many opportunities within student organizations, as I am now on the CLARION board as a judge recruitment co-chair, a member of the SPH Student Senate, a volunteer at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, and a class representative for my program. These opportunities will greatly benefit my future career as a leader in the healthcare system.